After a very
long delay, the Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists
49 (2012) has finally been published. The lineup of articles is excellent. Gregg Schwendner has posted the contents on his site here
. I myself have a "papyrological note" on P.Mich. inv. 3521 published in this issue, which I submitted to BASP
back in 2009! I have uploaded a copy of that in the publications section of this site. I was also excited to see that my edition of McGill MS No 2 (a Coptic palimpsest fragment of 2 Samuel 10) published in ZPE
184 was cited in two different articles dealing with the collection of Erik von Scherling (Alin Suciu and Klaas A. Worp and Renate Dekker). I have been privileged to have read these two articles already, thanks to the authors' making their papers available to me. Here is the announcement about the publication from the fine editor of BASP
, Peter van Minnen, which was circulated earlier today:Dear colleagues,BASP 49 (2012) has finally arrived. See the table of contents below. BASP 50 (2013) is on its way and is expected to arrive early next year. BASP 51 (2014) is filling up, but more contributions in a "congress language" (English, French, German, and Italian) can still be accommodated.
Thanks in part to the technical support made possible by the Semple Fund of the University of Cincinnati, BASP is the cheapest papyrological journal around, made available to members of the American Society of Papyrologists for an annual contribution of $35 ($20 for student members) and to institutions for an annual subscription of $50. Check out http://papyrology.org/index.php/membership
BASP has a new reviews editor: Arthur Verhoogt (Department of Classical Studies, University of Michigan, 2160 Angell Hall, 435 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003, USA). Copies of books for review can be sent to him from now on.
Peter van Minnen
Since Christmas is quickly approaching, I thought I would point my readers to a fantastic article by Stephen Carlson published in NTS
in 2010 titled, "The Accommodations of Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem: Κατάλυμα in Luke 2.7." Carlson's study turns the traditional interpretation of the "inn" as being a kind of ancient hotel on its head. He also denies the view that Jesus was born in a stable or barn. Through a detailed lexical and semantic analysis of κατάλυμα and Jewish patrilocal marital customs during the time of Jesus, Carlson demonstrates that the reference to κατάλυμα in Luke 2.7 alludes to a marital chamber built on top, or onto the side of, the main room of a family village home. According to Carlson, the phrase διότι οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τόπος ἐν τῷ καταλύματι should be rendered "because they did not have room in their place to stay." The reference to "their place" is the marital chamber attached to the family village home of Joseph where the married couple would have stayed for some time before finding their own place. Since there was no space in their room, Mary had to give birth in the larger main room of the house, where the rest of the family slept. Carlson also shows that it was common for a "manger" to be present in the main room of most Jewish homes and so this detail of the birth account is in keeping with Jewish living customs. I quote Carlson's conclusion found on page 342 of the article:"Luke's infancy narrative therefore presupposes the following events. Joseph took his betrothed Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem (2.5). Bethlehem was his hometown (v. 3) and, in accordance with the patrilocal marital customs of the day, it must also have been the place where they finalized their matrimonial arrangements by bringing her into his home. As a newly married man, he no longer would have to sleep in the main room of the village house with his other relatives, but he and his bride could stay in a marital chamber attached to the house until they could get a place of their own. They stayed there for some time until she came to full term (v. 6), and she gave birth to Jesus in the main room of the house rather than in her marital apartment because it was too small, and she laid the newborn in one of those mangers (v. 7) common to the main room of an ancient farmhouse. After staying at least another forty days in Bethlehem (v. 22; cf. Lev 12.2–8), Joseph and Mary eventually moved to Nazareth to make their home together in her family's town (v. 39; cf. 1.26–27). To be sure, this scenario as presupposed in Luke's infancy account diverges greatly from the conventional Christmas story. There is no inn, no innkeeper, and no stable. But it is grounded in a careful exegesis of the text."
This is one of those articles that can be described as truly being groundbreaking. Carlson's conclusions are so convincing that it would take considerable evidence to overturn them. Indeed, some may be uncomfortable with how this evidence changes the face of the traditional Christmas story, but it is, as Carlson admits, "grounded in a careful exegesis of the text." This article needs to be circulated widely, not only among academics, but also pastors and lay people alike, because it has serious implications for how we should understand this story as told by Luke. Carlson has posted this article on his personal website and it can be found here
. Happy reading and happy holidays to all!
In 1998, Timothy M. Teeter published the eleventh installment in the series Columbia Papyri (American Studies in Papyrology 38; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1998). This volume was a revision of Teeter's 1989 doctoral dissertation under Roger S. Bagnall titled Ten Christian Papyri in the Columbia Collection. What I would like to talk about today is one of the manuscripts in this volume, #293 (Col. inv. 571), a fifth-century parchment fragment written in a fine biblical majuscule hand on both the hair and flesh sides, containing portions of Matthew 6 (vv. 4-6, 8-12). The opening paragraph of Teeter's edition of this fragment reads as follows:
"This fragment of the Gospel according to Matthew, containing most of the Lord's prayer and four verses of the introduction, is written on a badly damaged parchment codex leaf. The damage may be due to water, or exposure to extreme heat, or both; whatever the case, it is badly wrinkled, smudged, worn through in spots and very faded. Many letters are lost in whole or in part, while others may be seen only by patient examination under magnification. Text is missing both at top and bottom, and the left edge of the recto is ragged, possibly from the page's having been torn out. The circumstances of its separation from the codex are mysterious; if it was torn out to be kept as a charm or used for recitation, whoever did so was careless and lost the portion of the prayer" (Teeter, Columbia Papyri, p. 3).
Here is an image of the recto of P.Col. XI 293:
P.Col. XI 293
According to Teeter, the fragment is part of a larger codex and may have been used secondarily as an amulet. In a footnote to the citation above, Teeter says, "There is no Greek text of the Lord's Prayer on papyrus that was not created to be an amulet or toy" (ibid., p. 3). The "toy" designation is obviously a reference to P.Ant. II 54, whose original editor thought that it may have been a "toy book for a child" (this designation has been problematized by subsequent researchers). In his review of Teeter's book, Paul Mirecki commented that P.Col. XI 293 "is a random fragment of a damaged book, perhaps a deliberately destroyed book. This would better explain why the text of the prayer is incomplete" (BASP 38, 2001, 136). P.Col. XI 293 is no. 105 in de Bruyn and Dijkstra's list of Greek of amulets (BASP 48, 2011, 163-216), filed under the category of "Probable Amulets." They claim that it was used secondarily as an amulet and state in a footnote that, against Mirecki, "[i]t is more plausible that this badly damaged leaf from a parchment codex written with Matt. 6:4-6 (the introduction to the Lord's prayer) and Matt. 6:8-12 (some verses of the Lord's Prayer) was preserved (and possible worn) because it contained the Lord's Prayer than that it is a 'random fragment of a damaged book, perhaps a deliberately destroyed book'" (ibid., 199 n.172). I tend to think that Teeter and de Bruyn and Dijkstra's conclusion, namely, that it was a parchment codex fragment recycled as an amulet, is much more likely than Mirecki's view. P.Oxy. 4406; P105 (verso)
As a general rule within textual criticism, non-continuous manuscripts cannot be catalogued in the official list of New Testament manuscripts, and I have written about the problems with this rule here
. My question is this: if P.Col. XI 293 is an amulet only
in its second use and originally it presumably belonged to a continuous manuscript of the Greek New Testament, then why has this manuscript not been assigned a Gregory-Aland number in the majuscule category? Viewed this way, it should already
be in the Kurzgefasste Liste
, since it was likely originally a continuous manuscript, which is a prerequisite for inclusion in the Liste
. Interestingly, there is another extant codex leaf used secondarily as an amulet that has
made the official list of New Testament manuscripts: it is P.Oxy. LXIV 4406 and has been assigned the Gregory-Aland number P105! De Bruyn and Dijkstra place P.Oxy. 4406 in their category of “probable amulets” alongside P.Col. XI 293 and describe it as a “pap. fragment of a codex sheet [...] sec. use” (ibid., 203).
The question of why P.Oxy. 4406 made the official list of New Testament manuscripts while P.Col. XI 293 did not is a testament to the current uncertainty concerning the role of non-continuous manuscripts within the discipline of New Testament textual criticism. But if we are going to be consistent in our standards and criteria, then P.Col. XI 293 deserves a place among the official list of New Testament manuscripts
and I would like publicly to request that the Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung (INTF) consider adding it to the Liste
. Whether or not it is to be cited in the apparatus criticus
of the NA28 or the ECM
is another question altogether, but it should at least be given a Gregory-Aland number. The text is genealogically significant, agreeing "in all major respects with the 27th edition of N(estle)-A(land), as well as the Codex Sinaiticus (א) and the Codex Vatianus (B)" (Teeter, Columbia Papyri
, 4-5). I'm interested to hear what you think so let's take a vote!
Please vote below and in a week or two I will post the results and follow up on the discussion. You are also free to leave comments if you are unsure, but please explain why.
This year’s SBL conference in Baltimore was a spectacular experience. I have attended the SBL every year since 2007 (San Diego) and my young career has benefited tremendously from these conferences. It is such a great opportunity to share one’s own research, hear about the work of others, make connections, and enjoy fellowship with old and new friends. This year, I was privileged to meet for the first time in person several people with whom I have been in contact through e-mail for years. Many of the papers are a hit or miss, but I can highlight two of the good ones. As you might guess, I spend most of my time hanging out in the papyrology and textual criticism sessions and this year there were several excellent papers. Brent Nongbri
’s paper on the Christian Greek literary materials at Oxyrhynchus was fascinating. Brent’s papers are never
dull and I always love hearing what he has to say, as he always brings fresh questions to old problems. (And his PowerPoints and handouts are simply the best!) He highlighted the various codicological features of the manuscripts at Oxyrhynchus and raised some interesting questions about the dates of papyri. One of the questions concerned the peak and decline of literary papyri. Copies of the New Testament peak in the 3rd century but drop off in the 4th. Is this due to random survival? Possibly. One statement that piqued my curiosity was this: The Schøyen Leviticus and Joshua, which have been attributed to Oxyrhynchus, might actually be part of the Beatty find (wherever that came from) because these two Schøyen manuscripts look a lot like the Beatty Numbers-Deuteronomy, and because they seem to have been bought in 1930, the same year the Beatty codices hit the antiquities market. I would love to see this developed further and I am sure Brent will say more about it in the future. Geoffrey Smith
and Alexander Kocar
’s paper on the status of the Coptic manuscripts from Oxyrhynchus was also very interesting. Geoff and Alex are working on the Coptic manuscripts from Oxyrhynchus, which is a much-needed study. Scholars have often made the claim that almost no Coptic manuscripts were found at Oxyrhynchus, but Geoff claims that there is in fact a minimum of 370 Coptic manuscripts in the collection. The confusion lies in the fact that there are 274 inventory
numbers, yet there are multiple fragments for each inventory number. Thus, there may well be more Coptic manuscripts than the minimum number given. What was exciting to me was Geoff’s statement that in season three Coptic manuscripts were found among dated Greek documents, which in turn may help us date the Coptic. This is truly exciting since the majority of Coptic manuscripts are not datable. There is a question whether the Coptic material will be published in the Oxyrhynchus series, which they have been granted permission to do, or in an entirely new series such as P.Oxy. Copt
. I look forward to hearing more from Geoff and Alex as they continue to work on the Coptic collection. My paper
on amulets from Oxyrhynchus with New Testament citations was well received. I took the opportunity up front to describe briefly the structure of my doctoral dissertation, from which the conference paper was distilled. The paper generated fruitful discussion. One of the first questions came from Larry Hurtado who questioned the utility of these documents for the study of the text of the New Testament. His point was that if these texts are somewhat outside the main textual stream then they might not be that helpful. I acknowledged the marginal status of the materials in relation to the main textual stream (alluding to Peter Head’s claim that these are the “dangling ends of branches that go no further”) but stated that the patristic citations present the same problems. Many of the patristic citations are also outside the main textual tradition, and we deal with the problems of faulty memory, adaptation, etc. Thus, if we are going to cite patristic citations in the critical apparatus of the Greek New Testament, then why not cite an amulet that is genealogically significant? This point was well taken and Robert Kraft then commented that the study was needed and desired. Michael Theophilos noted correctly that there was a precedent for including amulets in the official Liste
and I am glad he brought that up. The first chapter of my dissertation discusses Ernst von Dobschütz’s inclusion of amulets and ostraka and then looks at their removal during the time of Kurt Aland’s tenure as keeper of the Liste
. Brent Nongbri wondered whether the cord or string in P.Oxy. 4406 (which I showed in a PowerPoint slide) was in fact a cord used to repair the papyrus. This is an extremely interesting question and Brent has provided me with parallels. In any case, I ended by saying that my interests are both textual and non-textual and that even if an amulet does not offer any value to the textual critic, they are still important for study and analysis. I heard from Malcolm Choat after the session that Roger Bagnall, who was in the audience, agreed with me and liked my paper! Well, if Roger Bagnall liked my paper, then I must be doing something right!
All in all, I had a very enjoyable conference. I had coffee with Malcolm Choat on Monday and learned about one of his papyrological projects that is going to blow the minds of papyrologists and textual critics alike. Yep, good stuff from that Aussie, who is indeed one of my favorite papyrologists. Or maybe I just like Aussies generally, because Pete Head, that beast of an athlete, is now also one of my favorite persons in the world!
Due to an administrative mixup, my SBL paper is, unfortunately, not listed in the program book this year. So, I thought I would provide an abstract here along with details. I will be presenting on Saturday in a thematic panel on "Christian Papyri from Oxyrhynchus" in the Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds group. Here is the current program lineup: S23-231 Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds11/23/20131:00 PM to 3:00 PMRoom:
Carroll - Hilton Baltimore Theme: Christian Papyri from Oxyrhynchus
AnneMarie Luijendijk, Princeton University, Presiding
Bart B. Bruehler, Indiana Wesleyan UniversityP39 and the Socio-Economic Spectrum of Christian Manuscripts at Oxyrhynchus in the Early Third Century
Michael P. Theophilos, Australian Catholic UniversityChristian Prayer at Oxyrhynchus
Todd Brewer, Durham UniversityReading Thomas Backwards: From Nag Hammadi to Oxyrhynchus and Beyond
My paper will be given sometime during this session, although I have not been told when I will go. In any case, here is the abstract of my paper:Amulets from Oxyrhynchus with New Testament Citations
This paper offers an analysis of a few of the amulets from Oxyrhynchus that contain New Testament citations (P.Oxy. VIII 1077; VIII 1151; LXIV 4406). The study is part of a larger project on the non-continuous manuscripts of the Greek New Testament in which, among other types of non-continuous materials, all extant New Testament amulets (in Greek) will be catalogued and studied in detail. In this preliminary study, we shall attend to matters palaeographical and textual in an effort to establish a better picture of these texts collectively, and to see how they may assist us in text-critical endeavors as well as in our questions concerning the early Christians from Oxyrhynchus. Thus, the analysis will nuance our perspective on Christians and their texts from Oxyrhynchus, but it will also have methodological implications for our treatment of Christian amulets generally.
Summer Institute in Papyrology at Princeton University, 7 July - 8 August 2014
From July 7 to August 8 of 2014, Princeton University will host an intensive summer Institute in Papyrology for advanced graduate students and junior faculty in Ancient History, Classics, History, Egyptology, Art and Archaeology, History of Religions and Biblical Studies as well as other related disciplines. The 2014 Papyrological Institute will focus on Late Antique papyri and the primary materials will consist of Greek papyri. In keeping with the goals of previous years, the institute aims to provide participating scholars with direct experience of the papyri through close reading of individual texts, and with knowledge of the field of papyrology in general, so that they may employ this knowledge effectively in conducting their own future research and teaching. The 2014 institute is the ninth in a series of intensive summer programs held under the aegis of the American Society of Papyrologists.
The institute will include a combination of lectures and advanced coursework with first-hand experience working with ancient sources. Students are expected to participate actively in all of the institute’s programs and activities; a full-time commitment is required while the institute is in session. Principal instructors are Professors Jean-Luc Fournet (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris) and Nicolaos Gonis (University College, London), Directors, and Professor AnneMarie Luijendijk (Princeton University), organizer. A series of guest lectures on topics related to the theme of the seminar will supplement the core presentations.
Admission to the summer Papyrological Institute is by application only; approximately twelve scholars will be selected to participate. Any qualified academic may participate; no prior experience with papyrology is expected, but since we will work with Greek papyri, a high degree of competence in Ancient Greek is essential. Participation in the institute is free of charge (no tuition); applicants are expected to seek financial support from their home institution to facilitate their participation, but grants may be available to any participants who do not have other means of support. No credit will be given for the course, and no grades or transcripts will be issued, however those participants completing the institute will receive a certificate from the American Society of Papyrologists.Application Procedure
The application consists of the completed application form along with a current curriculum vitae
and two letters of recommendation. All materials must be received by March 1, 2014
in order to be considered for admission. Notification of decisions will be issued in late March. For further information about the summer institute, please contact AnneMarie Luijendijk.
Send application materials to: Prof. AnneMarie Luijendijk,Department of Religion, 1879 Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544 or electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the questions for my New Testament comprehensive exam was: "How did Rudolf Bultmann contribute to the field of New Testament studies? What was his perspective on Historical Jesus research?" I am glad this question appeared on my exam because I have always been a fan of Bultmann. His History of the Synoptic Tradition is one of the first places I go when I want to learn more about a certain pericope, and his New Testament Theology is just remarkable. One may not agree with all of Bultmann’s conclusions, but one cannot deny that he was always barking up the right tree. One of my favorite quotes about Bultmann is by the famous English systematic theologian, Ian Henderson (1910-1969). Here is what Henderson says:
"Quite a lot of people have got round to writing refutations of Bultmann by now. The fact that there is always room for one more gives rise to the uneasy suspicion that some of the earlier writers may have underestimated their theological prey and made the mistake of going hunting for a tiger with a .22 rifle."
P.S.: For those who don't know anything about guns and hunting, a .22 caliber rifle is a small gun that would hardly kill a tiger. But I suspect that this could easily be deduced from the context.
Today, the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) posted images of the biblical papyri housed in the Chester Beatty Library (Dublin) which they took over the summer. They have also released this fascinating video describing the project:
I would like to express my utmost appreciation to the kind folks at Harrassowitz Verlag for sending me a review copy of this book. Because Coptic does not display properly in all browsers, I have uploaded a PDF of this review, which is posted below and which may alternatively be downloaded here
: This review will also appear in the journal Laval Théologiques et Philosophique
In the latest issue of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri
, Egyptian Exploration Society
, 2012), W. B. Henry offers an edition of P.Oxy. 5129 (Justin Martyr's First Apology)
, which is the earliest Greek manuscript of any text of Justin Martyr. According to Henry, "[t]his is the first published ancient copy of a work of Justin Martyr. The text is otherwise known only from the unreliable manuscript A (Parisinus graecus 450, of 1364)." Henry dates the hand to the 4th century CE, citing P.Oxy. 2699 and P.Herm. 5 as comparanda. This is, therefore, an incredible discovery, since P.Oxy. 5129 predates the earliest manuscript of Justin by a millennium
! There are a few variants in the fragment (e.g., omission of εντυχειν in 50.12, υμων instead of ημων in 51.4) that make the text important for text-critical study of Justin's First Apology
The manuscript is written on parchment in an elegant hand of the "Severe" type. Unfortunately, only six, partial lines have been preserved (3 lines on hair, 3 lines on flesh), and the flesh side is particularly sparse. Henry collates the text with the critical edition of D. Minns and P. Parvis (2009). For interested readers, I reproduce Henry's transcription of the text of P.Oxy. 5129 below, alongside my own translation (with brackets signifying reconstructions), which is followed by a snapshot of the hair side of the fragment.
Hair (1 Apol. 50.12)
π̣ρο̣φ̣ητειαι̣[ς ε]ν̣ α[ις παντα ταυτα]
προειρητο γενησ[ομενα πιστευ-]
σαντες και δυναμ̣[ιν]
"...the prophecies in [which all these things] foretold as coming to pass, having [believed] and [received] power..."
Flesh (1 Apol. 51.4-5)
] δ[ικαιο]ν̣ ε̣υ̣ δ̣[ουλευ-]
[οντα πολλοις] κ̣α̣ι̣ τ̣α̣ς̣ αμαρτιας̣ υ-
[μων αυτος ανο]ι̣σει δια τουτο αυτος
"...the [righteous] who kindly [serve
many]. And he [himself] will [bear] your sins.
On account of this, he..."